Wendi Hansen
December 21, 2014 7:00 am

A book hangover: it’s a real thing, you guys. And it’s just the worst. The other day my friend asked me, “So, what book are you currently reading?” It took me like one whole minute to realize that I’m not reading anything at the moment. Not a single page. As an avid reader, this kind of freaked me out.

My only explanation for this bizarre phenomena was because I was still reeling from the ending of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, the last book I read. Upon further scrutinization, I realized that the other last books I read were Tempting Fate by Jane Green, The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner and Looking For Alaska by John Green. I also realized I would marathon through books for two to three months straight, and then suddenly, I would stop. The pattern was pretty telling. Could this be characterized as a form of binge reading? And after I devoured said book, was I book hungover? Probably.

Falling for a book and its characters, forming an attachment only to be led to an end can take a toll on your emotions. After reading the last Harry Potter book, all I could feel was utter despair. I wanted to know what happened next. What would become of my beloved witches and wizards? Finishing Harry Potter was like having an existential crisis.

When a book is so enjoyable, its influence will linger in your subconsciousness for awhile. You’ll get attached, and you’ll miss flipping the pages and learning more and more about your favorite characters and their journeys. You’ll feel kind of bummed out, disappointed, and wistful when your reading journey ends. So, what’s a book-hungover girl to do? I’ve got some suggestions.

Have a rebound

Much like the first few months after a break-up, perhaps you need to dive into some bad literature for a while. You know, all your Danielle Steele and Nora Ephron. Easy, fun, guilty pleasures.

Finish unfinished books

Don’t tell me you don’t have one! It’s that book you only bought because of its pretty cover. Or that one book your friend gave you as present that you were a little skeptical about. Why do people assume you’d like any sort of book just because you read books, amiright?

Something new

Admit it, after a break-up, going out with someone new is a great distraction, and it gets you back in the arena. Not that I would know, I’m only assuming, of course. In the same way, a book from a completely different genre always helps a book hangover.

Let it out of your system

You know how it always feels good to rant about the jerkface who dumped you via text to your girlfriends? Why not spare your friends’ ears and ramble on the Internet? Start a blog, write a ravenous review on Amazon or Goodreads or compose a succinct, yet heartfelt tweet.

True love waits, and likewise, so does great literature and good writing. A good book, series, characters and plot are bound to come again. They are rare, but yes, like nice guys, they do exist.

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